Holiday Plants Toxic to Pet Birds

Christmas and Holiday Plants that Can Poison Your Parrot

By Alyson Kalhagen

Pet Birds Expert

The holiday season inspires beautiful decorations that often include a variety of plants that are known to be poisonous to pet birds. Some of these toxic holiday plants can cause severe illness and death in parrots and other birds, and should be avoided by bird owners as they deck the halls of their homes during the holiday season. 

Check out the list of poisonous holiday plants below to make sure that your pet bird never comes into contact with them. Decorating for Christmas and other holidays can be fun, but keep it safe by making sure you don't take unnecessary risks with poisonous plants and your pets!

Thomas Northcut / Getty Images

Thomas Northcut / Getty Images

Holly

Holly is a great decoration for holiday festivities, but its leaves and berries can be deadly for your feathered friend. Opt for synthetic holly in your holiday decorations to keep your pet bird healthy and safe.

 
Stockbyte/Getty Images

Stockbyte/Getty Images

Mistletoe

Another popular holiday plant, Mistletoe can be deadly to pet birds. Both the leaves and berries are toxic to our feathered friends, so it may be best to skip the mistletoe and get our kisses the old fashioned way next time the holidays roll around.

 
Diane Macdonald/Getty Images

Diane Macdonald/Getty Images

Poinsettias

These beautiful plants are often the centerpiece of holiday festivities. If you own birds, though, you may want to opt for a safer decoration -- Poinsettias are not only poisonous to birds, but to other pets, and people as well.

 
Juan Silva / Getty Images

Juan Silva / Getty Images

Christmas Trees and Live Wreaths

Your Guide to Veterinary Medicine, Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM, makes some very good points about the dangers that Christmas trees and other evergreen decorations can pose to cats and dogs in her article on Christmas trees and pet toxicity. Certain varieties of live evergreens have been known to cause problems in some parrot species, so it is better to play it safe than be sorry and opt for an artificial tree if you own pet birds. Even then, care must be taken to make sure that your bird isn't allowed access to any Christmas tree -- the shiny decorations invite curious beaks and can cause choking hazards, delicate glass lights can be bitten off posing a risk of cuts, toxins, and electrocution, or bits of artificial fibers can be ingested causing all manner of health problems for a bird.

 
C Squared Studios/Getty Images

C Squared Studios/Getty Images

Christmas Cactus

There are several cactus varieties that are poisonous to pet birds. While it can be difficult to find much information on the toxicity of the Christmas Cactus, this is another plant that falls into the "better safe than sorry" category. Don't let your bird be the one who proves whether or not the Christmas Cactus is indeed toxic -- as a bird owner, the best policy is to assume that any plant whose properties you are unfamiliar with is a potential hazard to your pet.

 
Maria Mosolova/Getty Images

Maria Mosolova/Getty Images

Lillies

There are many types of Lillies, all beautiful and popular in flower arrangements. The Christmas lily is a popular decoration that many families enjoy during the holidays. Bird owners should keep an eye out for lilies, however, as their flowers and leaves are extremely poisonous to pet birds. Make sure to remove all lillies from the areas that your bird has access to.

 
John Foxx/Getty Images

John Foxx/Getty Images

Ivy

Lush, green Ivy is popular as a year-round decoration in many homes, and even more during the holiday season. While it does add a beautiful accent to a room's decor, some types of Ivy can be deadly to any pet birds that share your home. Steer clear of any Ivy variety to make sure that your bird stays safe.


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